A car park at a Cornish seaside town has left locals and visitors facing hundreds of pounds in fines – even if they don’t actually park there. The Sea View Car Park in near Padstow, has been fitted with new automated license plate reading cameras that scan a car’s number plate as soon as it enters.
According to Cornwall Live, the operator is currently not allowing any leeway between entering and finding a space, meaning many are hit with a £ 100 fine after leaving when finding the car park is full.
The car park, operated by a company called Alliance Parking, has proved so confusing for people that it has led to rising anger in the area – so much so that people have blasted it for being ‘a scam’.
Regular user of the car park Hazel Belle Thompson posted on a Facebook group: “It’s camera operated. As soon as you drive in, your car and reg are taken.
“I lost a full day’s wages in a parking fine for being 14 minutes over.”
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One reason for the growing anger comes due to the reportedly confusing nature of the signs at the car park.
The notices currently state drivers must pay from 7am until 11pm with no grace period – not even of up to 30 minutes as is the case at many other car parks.
However further down it also says that a £ 100 parking fine will be levied for parking from 10pm until 6am, despite parking being permitted until 11pm.
The sign also states that payment should start the second a driver arrives until the time they leave with no grace period for the first 30 minutes.
That means that if a driver enters but can’t find a parking space and left a minute later, they could still be fined £ 100.
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Express.co.uk readers were united in their anger at the measures, and at the state of parking in the UK in general.
Commenter ‘Turktowner’ wrote: “This is not a fine unless issued by a Court of Law or Police. “In a privately operated car park it is an invoice that is issued on spec.
“If the car park is not full the court will take a view that the value of the invoice is excessive given that the ‘normal’ priced charged for a parking space is £ 1 per hour for example.
“The onus is on the Parking Company to do the work, and remember, it is only court appointed Bailiffs that can enter your home, and only then with a warrant not just their ID tag.”
‘REVet’ agreed, writing: “Appeal it, the ticket is an invoice not a fine. I would simply ignore these from the beginning and don’t acknowledge I have received their invoice, except Parking Eye, I appeal them straight away. “
‘Dturr’ added: “Scam tactics – how often do we enter a car park look at the price and drive out?”
‘Foxystar’ wrote: “Only a fool would even consider paying it.”
But ‘Barry UK’ replied: “No a frightened person would pay and that is how they operate, fear and intimidation of the strong over the weak. Let us hope no one damages those machines. “
In a statement to Express.co.uk, Alliance Parking said: “We comply with the existing IPC Code of Practice and the new Private Parking Code of Practice in relation to consideration periods.
“Drivers are afforded the time to enter the car park, read the signage, and leave if the car park does not suit their needs.
“As such, only those that park and remain at the car park without paying for their stay in full, or park in breach of any of the other terms and conditions will incur a Parking Charge ie the act of entering the car park, turning around and leaving will not incur a Parking Charge.
“Our aim is for genuine users of the car park to have access to parking which greatly assists local tourism.
“Those issued with a Parking Charge have the ability to appeal ourselves internally and an external Independent Appeals Service.”